Justice Minister Must Closely Monitor Management Of Victims Payment Scheme

The Justice Minister, Naomi Long, must closely monitor both the assessment and appeals process of the Victims Payment Scheme to ensure it is operating as intended with in-person assessments only required when existing medical information is not readily available.

Making the call Chair of the Justice Committee Mervyn Storey said that existing medical evidence must take priority in assessments for the Scheme.

The DUP MLA said: "The Victims Payment Scheme has been a very welcome step forward for many who suffered so greatly during the troubles in Northern Ireland. It is vital that confidence in the scheme is upheld, but there are obviously genuine concerns which have been aired in relation to the role of Capita in the process.
News Image
"It is absolutely vital that the evidence provided from an individual's own GP records and other existing documentation is the primary foundation upon which these assessments are built. The Minister has been clear that decisions will be made on a paper-based assessment wherever possible so that victims are not subjected to further medical assessment.

"I hope that can give reassurance to victims who may be fearful at this time, that it will only be in cases where existing medical information is not readily available that anyone would have to attend for an in-person assessment.

"Those who qualify for the Victims Payment by definition have suffered horrendously and it is vital this process does operate as the Justice Minister has outlined. No further suffering or trauma should be inflicted upon victims in our society. Given the serious questions raised by the NIPSO into Personal Independence Payments and Capita's role in those assessments it is vital the Minister makes monitoring of this scheme a priority. She must also regularly review both the assessment and appeals process to ensure victims can have confidence the scheme is operating properly and as intended."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

02 December 2021
DUP Urges 'Everyone To Get Their Vaccine'
DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP has called on "everyone to get their vaccine". Sir Jeffrey said that is is the "best defence against the virus". He said: "We want to see everyone getting their vaccine. Their first, second and third jabs. That is our best defence against the virus.
30 November 2021
Consultation Launches On Proposals For 'Charlotte's Law'
Justice Minister Naomi Long has launched a public consultation on proposals for 'Charlotte's Law'. The consultation follows a review of current law in relation to disclosure of information on the locations of victims' remains by those convicted of their killing.
29 November 2021
Justice Minister Launches Campaign Against Illegal Money Lenders
Paramilitary gangs must not be allowed to use illegal money lending to target the most vulnerable members of our communities, Justice Minister Naomi Long has said.
08 May 2002
Ministers off to Spain to meet victims’ groups
Northern Ireland Office Victims Minister Des Browne and Junior Stormont Minister Des Haughey are to meet with politicians and victims’ groups in Spain.
10 December 2009
Executive Victims' Strategy Revealed
The long-awaited publication of the Stormont Executive's Strategy for Victims and Survivors of The Troubles has been announced. First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness announced the development in a written statement to the Assembly.